Deadline: Rome - Following several aborted attempts to buy ailing premiership football club, Liverpool, the Dubai Exploit This Western Recession And Milk It Group have announced proposals to flash the cash at one of Christianity's most revered symbols.
The much copied 'La Pieta' sculpture by Michaelangelo, currently housed in St Peter's in Rome, or more precisely, in St Peter's in The Vatican City in Rome, the most magnificent work of art that this correspondent has ever laid eyes on, has become a victim of the worldwide recession.
The sculpture, standing some eight feet tall, and carved from a block of solid marble depicts the agony of the Virgin Mary as she recieves the body of her only son with outstretched fingers as she cradles His brutalised body is expected to be sold to a shopping mall consortium, despite widespread protests from Christians the world over.
The Vatican refused to comment.
A spokesperson for the consortium said that the sculpture was "pretty cute" and that he'd locate it by a water feature.
In A Dubai shopping mall.
He went on, somewhat controversially to say:
"What's the problem with you Christians? You want to see the magnificence of La Pieta, then come to Dubai. SHOPPING.
"Failing that, there's a pretty crap copy in St Patrick's in New York, but if you want the real thing, come to Dubai, like David Beckham and Tiger Woods and that."
"But strictly no chavs."
More when we get a heart rending story about some bloke with the world's biggest penis...